Jonathan and Drew Scott just know, intuitively, which design trends are in—or on the wane. And on the latest episode of “Property Brothers,” they reveal one that probably seemed like such a good idea at the time, but is now way past its prime.
The Scotts are helping Nashville, TN, couple Carrie and Raza, who’ve been living in Carrie’s quaint yet cramped cottage and are eager to find a new place with room to spread out and maybe even start cooking. In their minuscule kitchen, the microwave is their most loved appliance.
“It’s time to move from my house to our house,” says Carrie. They have a budget of $640,000 to do it.
While Carrie and Raza are laid-back (thus the episode’s title, “Cool Under Pressure”), finding them a place that suits their needs is not going to be easy. For one, there’s a design clash. Carrie likes an eclectic bohemian style, while Raza prefers modern and angular, with a touch of Vegas glitz.
But there are some things everyone agrees on, and they can apply to your home as well. Here’s what we learned:
Big wall mirrors give off a dated reflection
Remember how designers used to install huge mirrors over an entire wall to make the room look bigger? Sure, it must have seemed like a brilliant idea back in the day, but now it just makes a house look dated. When the brothers spy one in a house they’re showing to Carrie and Raza, everyone agrees that it would be one of the first things to go. Not only would they take out the mirror, they’d also take out the entire wall. That’s a more current way to make a space seem bigger: Open it up!
The advantages of a gas fireplace
It seems that almost all of the people Jonathan and Drew work with would opt for a wood-burning fireplace, but not Carrie.
“Wood burning messes up my sinuses,” she says. As a nurse practitioner married to a physician, she should know what works for her health and what doesn’t—so consider that when deciding which kind of fireplace you want in your own home.
What light fluctuations could mean
While they’re viewing one home, everyone notices that the lights seem to randomly dim for a few seconds. That indicates potential problems with the electrical system, according to Jonathan, who insists that it should be checked out before the buying process proceeds too far.
A bargaining tool almost as good as cash
Drew eventually finds the couple a three-bedroom, three-bath home for sale for $497,000. When they find out there are several bids on the place, Carrie and Raza decide to offer full asking price—and remove the contingency of selling Carrie’s home first. A quick deal seems to be exactly what the sellers are looking for, and they accept the offer. Consider doing the same—that is, if you can afford to own two homes at once (at least until the first sells).
An inexpensive way to add a master suite
The home Carrie and Raza bought has three living/family rooms, and one of them has a bathroom attached, so Jonathan suggests they make that room into a master suite with a double vanity and walk-in closet. The other two rooms will be opened up to the kitchen for a giant living/dining/food prep area—and the house will now be more valuable because it has four bedrooms instead of three.
Beware of the bounce
When walls are removed, there’s a lot more empty floor space, and Jonathan points out that the floors have some give in them. He tells Carrie and Raza to jump up and down a little bit, and notice the bounce. This means they’ll need to add some extra support beams below.
Signs of water pressure woes
Low water pressure is also something to consider—it could mean costly plumbing fixes. In this case, Jonathan discovers that the water pipe leading to the city water supply is not copper, but galvanized steel, which “has a tendency to rust and close up,” he says.
They’ll need to dig a trench and replace the pipe with PVC, to the tune of an extra $3,000, but that “will make sure it’s fixed so you have clean, fresh, high-power water,” Jonathan promises.
A simple way to pump up the ‘wow’ factor
The house is definitely turning out more bohemian than modern, so Drew takes Raza shopping for light fixtures, to make sure he gets his touch of Vegas glitz in the design.
Not everything old has to go
Raza wants to refinish Carrie’s grandmother’s dressing table, which she loves, to make it fit in with the new decor. So they bring in a heavy hitter—Jonathan’s new wife, Linda—to help refinish it into a sewing table. It looks great, and actually saves some cash.
A new kitchen can be inspiring
Raza and Carrie didn’t put a lot of emphasis on their kitchen space; they were more interested in the living room and master suite. But once they see the gorgeous way Jonathan has remodeled the kitchen, they get excited, and say they’re eager to try out more than the microwave!
“This is a kitchen I could actually cook in,” says Carrie.
Do the Scott brothers deliver?
Although the plumbing problems were an unforeseen expense, “Jonathan dealt with the initial setbacks by finding savings in the fireplace design, bringing them in under budget,” says Drew. They ended up spending only $135,000 on the renovation, instead of the estimated $140,000.
And Carrie and Raza are thrilled with the results. As Drew points out, the bros “turned this place into a dream home they can both share.”